Not much has changed on local rivers from last week’s fishing report and thankfully the cooler temperatures and bits of rainfall are keeping the river in good shape – both in terms of levels and more importantly, in terms of temperatures —  rare going into August.

Brown on the Boardman

Brown on the Boardman

The Upper Manistee is finally getting good numbers of Tricos in the mid-morning as the temps warm up. Spinner falls provide more than just small fish – look carefully for bigger ones lightly sipping the water – you won’t hear the gulp. Afternoons and evenings are still presenting decent numbers of Isonycias, Light Cahills, and Little Yellow Sallies – on the cloudy and/or cooler days, look for BWOs. This week’s heat has got some hoppers even more active on the banks and fish are looking for rubber legs and foam – cast hopper imitations of all sizes until you crack the code for the day also mixing up the presentation: twitching, skating, popping, dead drifting. Everyday it is different. Streamer fishing on the cloudy days is starting to get more notice now that the heavy hatches are no longer providing a large dinner each night.

The Boardman is fishing well with Tricos in the morning and Terrestrials in the afternoon. Smaller hoppers fished along the many grassy banks and sunken logs can give up a nice fish this time of year so don’t give up and mix up your patterns until you find success. Caddis are sporadically coming off in the afternoons and evenings as are BWOs when it’s cloudy. While the Gray Drakes are gone, don’t hesitate to fish an Adams or Gray Drake pattern when searching for a riser.

The Lower Manistee continues to remain cool and as such trout continue to be the primary target. Look for small caddis and wet flies to take fish on top and those nymphing the better seams, runs and holes can do well with smaller Pheasant Tails and caddis emergers. Streamer fishing is still bringing some trout to hand as well as smallmouth bass. The cooler temps that are keeping the trout around are what’s keeping the bigger numbers of smallmouth bass away – look for heat to change things.

Ted Kraimer is a professional guide and fly tier, owner of Current Works Guide Service, and field editor for True|North|Trout. His fishing reports will continue to appear in T|N|T and on his website.